Ben Wallace, Johnny Grubb headline Virginia Sports Hall Class of 2015
RICHMOND (WTVR) – Former Virginia Union basketball standout Ben Wallace was the tallest person in the General Assembly earlier today, as he was recognized as part of the class of 2015 that will be inducted into the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame
Wallace was first team all-CIAA as a senior leading the Panthers to the Division II Final Four in 1996. He went undrafted, but signed as a free agent with the Washington Wizards, and holds the NBA record for most games played by an undrafted player.
“That’s the reason I’m so happy and so excited because I didn’t see this one coming” Wallace said. “You don’t think a lot of people are watching you at Virginia Union University. It just goes to show that even when you think people weren’t watching, they were watching.”
Wallace was a four time NBA all star and four time NBA defensive player of the year and won an NBA title with the Pistons.
Johnny Grubb played 16 years in the major leagues after graduating from Meadowbrook High in Richmond. He also won a title, in 1984 with the Detroit Tigers. Over his 16 year career, he hit .278 with 1,153 career hits and 99 home runs.
“I’m glad that it happened because I know a lot of people tried very, very hard for this to happen for me” Grubb said. “I had a lot of friends and family that put a lot of effort into this and I’m thankful for that.”
Also being inducted this year is longtime Fork Union basketball coach Fletcher Arritt who after 46 years at the helm, compiled 890 wins and won over 75 percent of his games. He also send over 400 players on to play in college.
Cherie Greer Brown was a three-time All-American lacrosse player at Virginia and the Division I NCAA Defensive Player of the Year in 1994. . During her career, the Cavaliers won two NCAA Championships – the 1991 and 1993 titles. In 2000, Greer was named a member of the Lacrosse Magazine All-Century Team. She was also inducted into the US Lacrosse Philadelphia/Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2005 and the National Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2009.
Paul Hatcher coached basketball for 43 years at Robert E. Lee high school in Staunton compiling a record of 897 victories and 175 losses, and a winning percentage of 84 percent. Hatcher coached from 1968 to 2011, and never endured a losing season. In three of his coaching seasons, his basketball team went undefeated, and he had 29 seasons with 20 or more victories. With 85 consecutive victories from 2003 to 2006, Hatcher became the Virginia High School League record holder. Hatcher’s teams won state championships in 1984, 1990, 2004 and 2005 and were runners-up six times. Hatcher has been named the Virginia High School League State Coach of the Year a total of 11 times and was a seven-time VHSL All-Star Game Coach.
Angela Hucles is a native of Virginia Beach, Virginia and attended Norfolk Academy where she was a Parade and National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-American selection in 1995. She graduated in 1996 as Norfolk Academy’s all-time leading scorer with 204 goals and 106 assists. Hucles attended the University of Virginia, where she became an All-American and was named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team for four straight seasons. She scored 59 goals and is the all-time leading goal scorer in the history of Virginia Women’s Soccer. After graduating, Hucles embarked on an extraordinary professional and international career highlighted by two Olympic Gold Medals, two World Cup appearances and 109 caps for the US Women’s National Soccer Team. Hucles was the U.S. Women’s National Team leading scorer in the 2008 Olympic Games. Playing for the Boston Breakers of the Women’s United Soccer Association, Hucles made a total of 57 appearances for the club and scored six goals.
And, former WDBJ Sports Director Mike Stevens is this year’s media selection for the Hall. In 23 years at Roanoke’s Channel 7, he served as a reporter, lead anchorman and did live play-by-play broadcasts for high school football, college basketball, minor league baseball and stock car racing. In addition, he was a fixture on the station’s marquee sports program, Friday Football Extra. Stevens hosted over 350 consecutives episodes of the half-hour high school football show that became the model for hundreds of other such programs around the country.
This years group will be formally inducted in April.